REAL ale fans will be descending on Fleetwood next week for an annual celebration of foaming beer.
The 31st Fleetwood Beer & Cider Festival takes place at the town’s Marine Hall from Thursday February 7 to Saturday February 9.
Around 120 real ales will be on offer over the three days.
Some doubts over the event’s future have continued since the organisers first raised concerns over rising hall hire charges two years ago.
But coordinators from the Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde branch of CAMRA say on-going rumours about the event are unfounded.
This year’s beer list contains a good selection of bitters, pale ales, stouts, porters, golden ales, with new breweries being showcased alongside the old favourites.
For the first time, the Festival will open its doors at 5pm on the Thursday, rather than the usual 7pm.
This year’s event is sponsored by Lytham Brewery, Lancaster Brewery, Cross Bay Brewery and West Coast Building Supplies.
Publicity officer Russ Cobb said: “The success of last year’s introduction of a Young Members’ Bar has ensured its status as a festival fixture.
“This bar will include some flavoured ales that are a slight departure from more “traditional” beer styles, and which are often aimed at the younger market – however, there will be no upper age limit enforced!”
As well as home-grown ale there will be a world beers bar, where many styles of bottled beer such as lager, fruit-flavoured ale and wheat beer from around the globe will be on sale.
Two beers making their UK debuts at Fleetwood will be Magic Hat #9 and Pyramid Heferweizen, both award-winners from the USA.
There will also be a Cider Bar, with its usual comprehensive selection of around 30 real ciders and perries.
Another highlight is Struise Pannepot, named by some beer aficionados as the World’s Best Beer of 2012.
Live music will be provided by Lytham R&B outfit The Full Fat Boogie Band on the Friday, with Fleetwood folk group Captain’s Crew on the Saturday.
As well as providing top quality real ale, the festival will also attempt to raise money for our chosen charity, which year will be Fleetwood RNLI.
The Festival will be open from 5pm till 11pm on Thursday, noon till 11 pm on Friday and Saturday.
Admission costs £3 on the Thursday evening, £4 on Friday and £3 on Saturday (CAMRA members, including anyone who joins CAMRA at the Festival, and card-carrying students – £1 all sessions).
There will be reductions for CAMRA members.